Designing a space in your home may be an exhilarating adventure for some. For
others, it’s an overwhelming task.
At by Design in Clive, the goal is to listen, inform, and inspire clients searching for the visual representation that epitomizes their personal style—and to have fun on the journey. The store’s five designers help make the process less intimidating and are experts at homing in on clients’ needs, translating them to create just the right look and feel for a space, says owner and sales manager Bonita Clark.
“We have a lot of fun. I love to hear laughter on our floor,” she says. “This is about fun and making things look good.”
Some of your new furniture groups feature very vibrant colors. How do you go bold without going garish?
That’s part of our whole process in building a relationship with the client. Relationships are really what it’s all about at by Design. We like to sketch things out with our clients; we like to gather information from them. We don’t try to sell you a red sofa just because there’s a red sofa on the showroom floor. We talk about what your needs are, what you like, and your space. After we’ve sketched and found out about your room, talked about and picked out colors, you may say you want something that’s bold and fun. But if you come in dressed conservatively in blacks and grays every time I see you, I would be careful at what colors we look at. Maybe you think about it and decide you want to start with a fun rug or pillows that are bold and fun. Or paint a color on one wall and then see what you think.
A new addition to your showroom is a space devoted to what you
call Rustic Chic. What are the
hallmarks of this style, and what can customers expect when they walk into the Rustic Chic room?
It’s kind of like a bohemian,
warehouse look—kind of contemporary, kind of hipster. It is hot right now. But it takes a specific client to pull it off. There are not many people who really want
a table that looks like it comes from a barnyard. It also depends on if you’ve got the space. If you have a log cabin, a loft downtown, or an older home, this looks really cool in it. It just takes some
confidence to do it, but it’s really fun.
Sofas are essential to any family room, but there are so many to choose from. What’s new in sofas and what should you consider when buying one?
The big thing that has changed in the last few years versus 15 years ago is sectionals. You just do a lot of sectionals because the rooms are a lot bigger than they used to be. A sofa and love seat used to be all people got, and that’s pretty old news right now. Comfort is a major
factor. It is so important to invest in good-quality furniture because it has a much longer lifespan. It will look good for years. If you buy cheap, it will look good the first year, then go downhill after that. We’re proud to say that we only have American-made upholstery in our store, and you can tell the difference in quality.
Recliners also seem to be popular. How have they changed over time?
Another amazing piece that has a lot of longevity is the recliner, which has gone from that awful piece with a puffy
back to just really great chairs. They can be contemporary or transitional, and are sleek but also very comfortable.
Ottomans can often be an afterthought or get no
consideration when putting together a room. But you argue that they’re a fun way to express your style.
Ottomans have just gone crazy within the last five years because we have all different sizes now. We try to do ottomans in every room because they’re so great. It’s a place to put your feet, so it can take the place of a recliner. You also have
someplace instead of a coffee table to put a tray. Some ottomans can seat three or four people. Ottomans are just a super
addition to a room. I think the key word with ottoman is fun—fun with different fabrics and fun with placement. Ottomans are just a great design aspect, as well as very user-friendly.
How are design trends being influenced by people doing more international travel?
It’s kind of inevitable that home and design trends
would start to feel international because people travel
easily to places like Europe and Mexico. So a lot of times
those influences have started to come back to our
upholstery, too. Now there are more Parisian and Tuscan
looks. A big look right now is Parisian Loft, with big
clocks, more ikat fabrics, and a lot of big motifs that
by Design has Ten Commandments of Interior Design. Number 9 is “Ceilings need love, too.” Why is it important to consider ceilings in a design plan? And what should we do with them?
A lot of people just do not want to think about ceilings, and they’ve always been white because of height issues. I remember painting the ceiling in my living room purple 15 years ago, and it was so fun. Painting is the easiest way to add interest to a ceiling. There aren’t many people who will paint their ceiling a different color; you just have to have confidence.
A lot of times it just depends on
if the room is boring and needs something. This may be the
learn more. Stop into by Design, located at 1490 NW 86th Street in Clive. Visit them online at ByDesignTheStore.com.